Ivan Kenneth Eyre was born in Tullymet, Saskatchewan in 1935. Mentored by Ernest Lindner and Eli Bornstein, Eyre graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Manitoba in 1957 and spent the following year at the University of North Dakota. Eyre was appointed Full Professor (Painting and Drawing) at the University of Manitoba where he worked until his retirement in 1993.
For more than five decades Eyre has produced an incredible body of work comprised of paintings, sculptures and drawings. Most commonly known for his paintings, Eyre has painted figurative work, still lifes, personal mythologies, figure silhouette/landscapes, portraits, and panoramic landscapes.
Ivan Eyre is considered a living national treasure. Eyre was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1974. He received the Queen’s Silver and Gold Jubilee medals, the University of Manitoba Alumni Jubilee award, and the Order of Manitoba.
In 2010, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario unveiled a sculpture garden consisting of 9 large scale bronze sculptures produced by him. In 1998, the Pavilion Museum was opened at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg where the entire third floor was dedicated as the Ivan Eyre Gallery. Eyre gifted 200 paintings, 5000 drawings and 16 sculptures to the museum, which are on display.
Eyre’s artwork has been exhibited in more than 65 solo and 250 group exhibitions across Canada and around the world. His works have been acquired by numerous public, private, and corporate art collections throughout Canada. Over 33 museums and galleries have shared some 420 paintings and over 3000 works on paper.
Institutions exhibiting Eyre’s artwork include the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the 49th Parallel Gallery in New York City, the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett in Frankfurt, Germany, the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, Canada House in London, UK. Currently his artwork is on display at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.